Honda S-Dream Streamliner Sets New Land Speed Record at 419 kmph

Honda S-Dream Streamliner

Honda S-Dream Streamliner derives power from a 660cc engine based on the three-pot motor designed to propel the S660 sportscar

Meet the S-Dream Streamliner which has a unique place in Honda’s history for being the fastest vehicle from the Japanese automaker. Last week at the Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah Honda engineers have set a new FIA Land Speed Record alongside posting the fastest time in their Category-A Group-1 Class-4 division. A speed of 419 kmph was clocked during the one mile run which made it the fastest ever Honda vehicle by bettering the former record held by BAR Honda Formula One car back in 2006.

You could have been expecting a mammoth hiding underneath the narrow bodywork but it turned out not to be the case as the S-Dream Streamliner derives power from a 660cc engine based on the three-pot motor designed to propel the S660 sportscar from Honda. With the dream of achieving a world speed record with the tiny 660cc engine, Honda chose 16 engineers, including project head Keisuke Tsuta, from a group of 100 individuals.

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Honda S-Dream Streamliner 2

The ambitious project internally known as Bonneville Speed Challenge was announced last year at the Honda R&D centre in Japan as the task of building Honda S-Dream came into existence. The highly-skilled team worked on every minute component and analysed the performance of the 660cc engine and came to a conclusion to change parts like cylinder block, crankshaft, pistons and valves with high performance characteristics.

Tasked with developing thrice the amount of power it originally designed for, the lower block was replaced with a steel unit besides connecting rods were reinforced to give extra rigidity and strength. Before entering the legendary Salt Flats, Honda tested the S-Dream Streamliner in Japan. But with as unpredictable as a race car can get, test driver Hikaru Miyagi, a former Japanese motorcycle racing champion, reported of losing visibility.

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Honda S-Dream Streamliner 1

Therefore, the Streamliner had to be taken to the Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita and the canopy was redesigned just days before the official Bonneville debut. At the Bonneville Speed Weeks, despite enduring faster runs, the target was unable to be reached and thus Mike Cook’s shoot out invite came as the final shot at the record attempt. The Honda team beat the FIA record of 366.57 kmph on day one before mastering 419 kmph ad 419.19 kmph for one mile and one kilometre runs respectively.